By Heather Murphy
When Candace Chellew-Hodge stopped by in October to announce the publication of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians, she opened her announcement with an apology. And well might she apologize, because I'm quite irritated with her. Where was this book when I was coming out? Chellew-Hodge could have saved me a lot of anxiety and spiritual crisis if she'd published this book five years ago.
Chellew-Hodge's book is simple, clear, and calming, and I found sentences on every page that I wanted to quote, to share with friends, and, in a few cases, to have tattooed on myself. She includes advice and exercises to help her readers empathize with our opponents, to discern when to involve ourselves in arguments and when to simply decline to engage in them, and to keep our faith intact when it seems under attack from all sides.
Although the book is specifically written for gay and lesbian Christians, I think that it would be very helpful reading for any progressive Christian who feels the anger and frustration of being accused of false prophecy and fake Christianity.
I can't help thinking of two books, Three Simple Rules and Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, that it seems that the whole United Methodist Church is reading, talking about, and using in their Christian practice in a variety of ways. This is that kind of book; it would be useful required reading for every GLBT person of faith.